The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - H.H. Godwin-Austen, Journal of a Tour in Assam, 26th November 1872 to 15th April 1873

caption: description of Phiphima and Kheruphima; terrace cultivation, stone-platforms, graves; megaliths; arrival below Kohima; Nagas refuse to carry loads until threatened with bayonets
medium: tours
location: Priphema (Phiphima) Kiruphema (Kheruphima) Sachema (Sutchema) Zubza R. Kohima
date: 29.12.1872
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 29th
text: Phiphima is situated on the line of ridge thrown off from the Burrail towards Kadinba & overlooks the valley of the Zumha on the West & the Zuzza on the east. It is a small dirty place with the road running through it in a deep cutting. Narrow gateways at each side. We got from here another view of the peak of the previous day & fixed its position approximately as given on other page. Weather still fine & clear & other peaks were laid down, the road was very up & down working round spurs from the main range. Got a few shells in the shady forest the first entered. The village of Kheruphima is situated on a spur from the Vale of Suvenuchika a rocky angle point thrown off from where the Burrail takes a bend to the South from its nornal SW-NE direction. At this village, which was small, we breakfasted abt 2 o/c. Shortly after leaving it we saw the first terrace cultivation & the appearance of the country reminded me much in its outline to Budrawar in the Himalayahs. Approaching Sutchema the terrace cultivation extends in a long broad expanse down to the River Zubza & gives quite a civilized look to the place after seeing only the very rude style of joom cultivation. Our camp here was situated just under the village on an open knoll with a fine view towards Japvo & the large villages of Khonema & Mozima. The valleys on that side all under rice terraced fields. In several of the preceding named villages upright stones are to be seen on the road side generally planted in the middle of the stone platform which marks the Naga grave, but by the side of the road abt a mile out of Suchema I was surprised to see a row of stones set up precisely as those in the Khasi Hills but with this difference that they are arranged from proper left to right, the tallest occupying the former position. this first lot was small, the largest being about 5 ft. But I saw single stones abt this part quite 12 ft in height. The number was 9 (uneven) and of two other like erections 9 & 31. This last was just before reaching & below the village Kohima - the stones all of small size. The single stones set up by the graves are simple gravestones as we use such, but the others have I fancy much the same origin of those erected by the Khasis. Several loads were left on the ground the Nagas refusing to take them & it was not until a portion of the guard, 10 men & a havildar, went up with fixed bayonets that they took up the things & then the said men did not get in until after dark, nor would these same villages give a seer of rice.
text: vil: 25.65 - 5.30pm, 29th
text: 25.60 - 4.30pm, 30th